House on the Hill

Last night we had dinner at House on the Hill in Poway. Ever since T moved in, he’s been getting various flyers and coupons “welcoming him to the neighborhood” and House on the Hill (HotH) sent one for a free entrée. We’ve been meaning to check it out for a while and I really wanted to go out to dinner (I’ve been so good about cooking at home all week!) we thought it would be a good time to see if HotH was worthy of being on our rotation list – we have quite a few just in Poway alone. Maybe I should put my list up here.

We went for dinner at 7:30 pm (they close at 9:30 pm on Fridays) and there were only a few other tables inside, with a few more on the patio. It was actually nice enough that we could have been on the patio and stayed comfortable, but we weren’t sure if it would get colder (it didn’t). You start out with some of their cheese spread and crackers and they later bring out a fresh-out-of-the-oven basket of sourdough rolls and butter (yum). The cheese spread is different, but I think it could have used more salt to give it some flavor. It’s made of a variety of cheese, ricotta and parmesan being the two major players. Warm soft rolls with butter, though? Heaven.

We also started with the calamari appetizer, since I was starving. The calamari pieces were on the small side, the breading heavier than other places but still fairly light, and the chipotle dipping saucehad just the right amount of kick to it. The ceviche appetizer also looked tempting and I think I’d like to try it the next time we’re there.

Each entrée comes with soup or salad, that evening’s soup being pasta e fagioli. It was a good soup, hearty, but I think I’m used to the ones where the beans are more smushed making a thicker soup. Still, by the time our food came we were getting pretty full. T ordered the sirloin steak and crab cake and asked if they could do their signature espresso rub on the steak. The steak had a good crust on it and the spice rub had the perfect amount of salt seasoning. The steak also came with an espresso mushroom something sauce that was actually quite tasty. I liked the crab cake because it had a light panko crust and the inside was moist and gooey (is that a good thing for a crab cake?) but T didn’t like it for the same reasons. He prefers crab cakes to not be breaded on the outside and to have large chunks of crab that are barely held together with minimal fillers. To each their own, I suppose.

My halibut picatta came lightly breaded with a lemon caper cream sauce with green beans (too buttery) and garlic salt roasted potatoes (yum yum). The halibut was very moist and quite a large portion. The lemon caper sauce was well-balanced and I liked it, even though I’m not always a fan of capers. Unfortunately, I had to bring half of it home because I was so full!

As you know, humans have a separate stomach for dessert so that even when you are full from dinner you still have room for dessert. T claims this is more prevalent in females of the species. They don’t have creme brulée but they do have carrot cake, chocolate cake, a fruit tart, lemon cream pie, white chocolate raspberry cheesecake, and a Grand Marnier chocolate mousse cake. We chose this last one over the lemon cream pie (next time). The mousse was the best part of the cake, not too sweet, not too liquored up, not too light, and not too dense. I guess Goldilocks would have called it “just right”. I still wish they had creme brulée but the rest of the desserts are acceptable.

Our server, Diana, was very attentive and funny and she gave us suggestions throughout the meal. She also told us that the mint in T‘s mint julep was grown right there and they are planning to grow an herb garden to supply the kitchen with herbs for cooking. The grape vine at the entrance is also full of beautiful grapes, which I think are used in one of their seafood dishes. She also gave us some $10 off coupons for our next visit. The food is good, the menu is extensive, and the atmosphere is pleasant. It’s also very close to home and I’d much rather go there for steak and seafood than The Brig (formerly The Brigantine of Poway – they got all hip and changed to The Brig).

Right now, HotH has happy hours with music on the patio during the week until 6:30 pm and half off appetizers. Mondays are half off bottles of wine. Wednesdays from 7 pm to 9 pm they have jazz on the patio and parties of 4 get a complimentary bottle of wine. Maybe we’ll see you there!

House on the Hill
12440 Poway Road
Poway, CA 92064

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